Abby Mnookin, Robin Morgan, Aiden Thompson

We must ensure the products we use are safe for all

There's an assumption among Americans that the products we buy must be safe if they're on store shelves but, unfortunately, this isn't the case. From cleaners to shampoos to clothing to children's toys, we use chemicals each day that are harmful to our health.

Toxic chemicals are harmful to everyone who is exposed, but children are more susceptible to their dangers. Over the course of a typical day, children are exposed to measurable levels of toxic chemicals, including Bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, flame retardants, and lead.

As a mother with a background in biology, I read labels, research alternatives, and go to great lengths to avoid exposure. But this can be costly, time-consuming, and disheartening because I can only limit exposure - not eliminate it.

We don't live in a bubble, and there are more than 85,000 chemicals in use in the United States with as many as 2,000 new ones added each year. Fewer than 700 are monitored through the EPA's Toxic Release Inventory, only 200 have been tested for human safety, and merely five have been banned under the outdated Toxic Substances Control Act. One such substance, asbestos, was reintroduced after its ban was overturned.

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